KARL Oyston, this week, met with members of Blackpool Supporters Association (BSA) to talk about the future of the club. The Gazette’s WILLIAM WATT brings the second part of the Q&A with the Seasiders chairman.
Do you think you should be communicating better with the club’s fans?
“The best way to get the fans onside again is to win a few games.
“There’s no PR in the world who could get a feelgood factor when we are losing games and have lost two managers in two months.
“It will be about winning games. If we can do that we’ll be fine.
“We haven’t got a policy of keeping quiet, but there’s very little point in me doing interview after interview when there’s nothing to report.”
“We could definitely communicate better. It’s difficult to come out and be positive when we are going through a bit of turmoil but I’m convinced it will be sorted once we get the manager.
How determined are you to take the club out of this blip and create a legacy?
“It’s not the first blip we’ve had as a club, and we’ve always got through it.
“This is the first time we’ve lacked real stability, two managerial changes hasn’t helped that. A new manager will certainly help that.
“As far as moving the club forward, it’s all we’ve ever done. We won’t rest until we sort it.
“We have to keep positive and keep moving in the right direction.
“But it will be at a pace which is best for the football club.
“We won’t change any of our policies in the way we run this club.
“There will be a legacy.”
After 15 years, do you think you are still the right man for the job?
“A lot of fans asked that question the day I took over – I saw all the welcome banners.
“The job hasn’t altered particularly, although the numbers and the success certainly have.
“This is a successful club and business, whichever way you look at it.
“We have a blip at the moment which is awful, and it’s been a struggle not to lose my nerve.
“But we’ve never been reactive here and that’s why we’ve always done well.
“I’m not a chairman who goes banging on a manager’s door down when we’ve lost. I judge it over a season.
“Fans can be reactive but I can’t afford to be. I’ll always have a measured approach to my job. I don’t have the ups and downs everyone else has.
“I’m not any more thick-skinned now than I ever was. I’m probably tarnished by the last 18 months, though.
“It’s like winning the lottery and everyone wants to be your best mate, everyone wants a piece of your money.
“As far as the football side goes, we need to get a manager we can work with and support.”
Where has the £98m Premier League money gone?
“The money has gone into a variety of things.
“We built the hotel (at Bloomfield Road) and fitted that out. We paid out £11m to my dad.
“But everyone misses the point – it’s not (about) where the money has gone.
“The point is that we won’t use that money to furnish the lavish lifestyles of 25 footballers or on huge transfer fees to other football clubs.
“I’m not dodging the question at all but we won’t change.
“It’s misguided to take the ‘where’s the money gone question’ seriously. It’s a football supporter view – supporters always think money is the solution to everything. It’s not.
“We are the low who bucked that trend, so we won’t be giving that money away to players.
“The money is within the club, apart from the £11m.
“We are a very wealthy club. Everything is bought and paid for.
“We have a ton of money in the bank, and at the end of the month we’ll be paying £4m to the tax man on our profits.
“The money is available to the football club.”
If someone came with a bag of money and wanted to buy the club, is it for sale?
“No-one has ever come up with an offer which has been taken seriously. That’s assuming the club is for sale, which it isn’t.”
Will you back the new manager?
“I never make decisions on football. I never have done.
“I simply implement decisions made by others. We allow whoever we have as manager to determine their transfer policy.
“Whoever we get as the manager, it’s down to them. If a manager wants a player, we’ll always do our best to bring him to the club.”
So you just have to trust your manager?
“Yes, it’s not for me to judge a player. If the manager we select says he wants a player, then we have to trust his judgment and try to get him.
“We can’t start questioning a manager. We won’t start to interfere.”
Will you be investing in under soil heating at Bloomfield Road?
“No, we won’t be. It’s just not a worthy investment for this football club.
“Our experience of undersoil heating is that it doesn’t offer any particular benefit to the football club.
“If it was of benefit to the football club, then we’d consider investing. I don’t think it is.
“At this current time it is way down my list of priorities. We have bigger fish to fry.
What are the bigger fish you have to fry?
“Well the training ground, for one. We own land. It’s a case of putting the planning jigsaw together and getting the planning permission in.”
Are you worried about people not renewing season tickets?
“If we were top of the league, then people will renew their season tickets.
“All the problems we are having at the moment are down to our lack of manager and leadership.”